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CryoEM structure of the Nipah virus nucleocapsid assembly

DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009740 DOI Help

Authors: De-Sheng Ker (University of York) , Huw T. Jenkins (University of York) , Sandra J. Greive (University of York) , Alfred A. Antson (University of York)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Plos Pathogens , VOL 17

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 19832

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Nipah and its close relative Hendra are highly pathogenic zoonotic viruses, storing their ssRNA genome in a helical nucleocapsid assembly formed by the N protein, a major viral immunogen. Here, we report the first cryoEM structure for a Henipavirus RNA-bound nucleocapsid assembly, at 3.5 Å resolution. The helical assembly is stabilised by previously undefined N- and C-terminal segments, contributing to subunit-subunit interactions. RNA is wrapped around the nucleocapsid protein assembly with a periodicity of six nucleotides per protomer, in the “3-bases-in, 3-bases-out” conformation, with protein plasticity enabling non-sequence specific interactions. The structure reveals commonalities in RNA binding pockets and in the conformation of bound RNA, not only with members of the Paramyxoviridae family, but also with the evolutionarily distant Filoviridae Ebola virus. Significant structural differences with other Paramyxoviridae members are also observed, particularly in the position and length of the exposed α-helix, residues 123–139, which may serve as a valuable epitope for surveillance and diagnostics.

Journal Keywords: Nucleocapsids; RNA structure; Paramyxoviruses; Protein interactions; Protein structure; Nipah virus; Protein structure comparison; Protein structure determination

Diamond Keywords: Viruses

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Medicine

Diamond Offline Facilities: Electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC)
Instruments: Krios II-Titan Krios II at Diamond

Added On: 21/07/2021 13:30


Discipline Tags:

Life Sciences & Biotech Health & Wellbeing Disease in the Developing World Drug Discovery Infectious Diseases Pathogens Structural biology

Technical Tags:

Microscopy Electron Microscopy (EM) Cryo Electron Microscopy (Cryo EM)